Picks: Another Stanford upset; Baylor keeps rolling; Tide sneak by
Oregon-Stanford tops a huge slate of games this week that also includes Oklahoma visiting Baylor and LSU visiting Alabama. Here are those picks and more.
I had a bad week, going 6-8 against the line, dropping me to 92-93 against the number this season. The Good: Picking Florida State to thump Miami. The Bad: Picking Iowa to give Wisconsin problems. The Ugly: Picking Texas Tech to beat Oklahoma State. Here are this week's guesses:
Baylor 52, Oklahoma 35: The Bears' passing attack struggled last year against OU when Baylor's offense "only" produced 424 yards in Norman in a 42-35 loss. Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley will win more than their share of one-on-ones and get some payback on the Sooners this time. And expect some fireworks from the BU RBs too since the Sooners are relying on two freshmen linebackers.
Stanford 23, Oregon 21: I know Marcus Mariota is much improved from last season's meeting, which was the last time he threw an INT. But I'm sticking with my preseason pick of Stanford to win the Pac-12. Derek Mason's D is disciplined and physical and more athletic than a lot of people give them credit for. Even without Ben Gardner I think they'll slow down the Ducks enough to make it two in a row in this series.
Louisville 48, UConn 13: Teddy Bridgewater's hitting over 76 percent of his passes while throwing under pressure, but don't expect the Huskies to get more than just a little heat on him as he records his seventh 300-yard game of the season.
Florida State 55, Wake Forest 6: WFU is without its best player, Michael Campanaro, and now Wake has to face the most talented team on its schedule. This one gets ugly fast as the Noles revert to their habit of routing people in the first half.
Texas Tech 31, Kansas State 27: Bill Snyder's team goes on the road for the third time this season. K-State is 0-2 away from Manhattan although the early 11 a.m. local kickoff could mute that home-field edge for the Red Raiders, where "Let's Get Weird" may become "Let's Get Some Coffee."
Missouri 27, Kentucky 17: Mark Stoops' squad is 0-4 in SEC play but the Cats did play South Carolina and Mississippi State tough on the road and my hunch is they'll hang around with the Tigers for a while.
Auburn 30, Tennessee 27: Tre Mason is just 79 yards from another 1,000-yard season and he should get it before the third quarter is over. Don't be surprised if the Vols put a good scare into the Tigers.
Texas A&M 51, Mississippi State 27: MSU, which is coming off a five-turnover game last week, walks into what figures to be an emotionally charged scene since it's the last home game for many Aggies. And likely Johnny Manziel's last home game at Kyle Field.
Wisconsin 24, BYU 14: Taysom Hill is a dangerous dual-threat QB, but the Badgers should be ready for him. Wisconsin has allowed the smallest percentage of TDs inside the red zone (38.1 percent) of any FBS defense in 2013.
Oklahoma State 45, Kansas 16: Charlie Weis' team hasn't cracked the 20-point barrier in Big 12 play yet, and I don't expect it to against OSU, but his D -- which only gave up one TD drive of three plays or less against Baylor -- should be able to keep the Cowboys under 50.
Arizona State 30, Utah 17: A rested Travis Wilson will help the Utes, but I still don't think they have enough to shut down Taylor Kelly and a potent Sun Devils attack.
Miami 24, Va. Tech 21: Both QBs have strong arms but have been very inconsistent. Go with the home team, especially since Logan Thomas is coming off back-to-back clunkers (two TDs, six INTs). Stephen Morris has had a rough month, too.
Central Florida 34, Houston 21: As good as young John O'Korn has been, I'm picking the more seasoned team with the more experienced QB (Blake Bortles) and the better defense.
Alabama 28, LSU 27: The Tigers won in Tuscaloosa two years ago. Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry are the kind of dynamic wideouts who can give the Bama corners problems, like Texas A&M did, but I just can't pick against AJ McCarron and company to get knocked off here.
Notre Dame 23, Pittsburgh 10: As disruptive as Pitt DT Aaron Donald has been, ND's defensive front can and will cause even more problems. Last year, the Panthers ran well on Manti Te'o and crew. I just don't see them (No. 104 in rushing) having anywhere near that kind of success on the ground this year.
Arizona 27, UCLA 24: The Bruins haven't won in Tucson since 2003, although both programs have changed a lot since then. I think the young UCLA line struggles again on the road and the improving B.J. Denker and the great Ka'Deem Carey do enough damage to give the slight underdog the upset.
Fresno State 44, Wyoming 31: Good matchup of two of the country's fastest offenses with terrific QBs. Expect plenty of fireworks, but I'll go with the Bulldogs, who have the better skill talent and more speed on D.
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